Appreciation, tributes and politics dominate Grammys

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By: Tommy Johnson | Contributor

In downtown Los Angeles, artists brought talent, tears and protests to create a unique celebration of what 2016 had to offer. The night began with Adele performing her-well known hit Hello and was followed by a tumbling and humorous entrance by Late-Night host James Corden, who kept people laughing all night.

The first winner of the night was Chance the Rapper, who won “Best New Artist.” His win was a unique accomplishment for an independent rapper. Chance the Rapper gave a personal acceptance speech, and having so many people in his life to thank, he didn’t let the producers of the show run him of stage when they started playing music to get him of stage. With a sly smile on his face he said, “Oh I’m gon’ talk. Ya’ll can play the music if you want.” He only went a dozen or so more seconds, but the gratitude showed by the now three-time Grammy winner was neat to see.

The next acceptance speech was the night’s most memorable. After naming Twenty One Pilots the winners of “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” for their song Stressed Out, the members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun took off their pants before heading up on stage. Confused, the crowd cheered and laughed. Joseph explained that a few years back that he, Dun and a couple of other buddies were watching the Grammys at a friend’s home when Dun said that if they win a Grammy, they should accept it dressed just like they were now: pant-less. True to their word, the two accepted their first Grammy, boxers and all.

A number of tributes were preformed to honor musicians who had passed away since last year’s awards. The Bee Gees, Prince and George Michael were honored by Demi Lavato, Bruno Mars and Adele, respectively. It was Adele’s tribute to George Michael that garnered the most attention. After a poor start, she stopped the performance, and shared that she wanted to do the song right –“ for George.” Starting again, she hit the first note correctly, and showed all those watching what a night like the Grammy’s is all about — the celebration of those who have touched our very souls with music.

The night’s performances were not without political opinion. Katy Perry shouted, “No hate!” at the end of her performance with the words “ we the people” stretched out behind her. A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson Paak’s performance invited a group of Muslims, Hispanics and other marginalized people to join them on stage as they shouted “ resist” with their right fists in the air. The night ended with a battle between Adele and Beyoncé for the three biggest Grammy’s:“ Song of the Year,” “ Record of the Year” and “ Album the Year.” Adele won all three with her song Hello and album 25, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell while listening to her touching thank you speech to Beyoncé.

“I can’t possibly accept this award … The Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyoncé. I twas … well thought-out and beautiful and soul-bearing …we appreciate that. All of us artists here adore you. You are our light,” said Adele. She broke the Grammy into two, offering half of the gramophone to Beyoncé to fulfill what she thought was as an unfitting victory.